On the Science of Hatcheries, 2014-2015

On the Science of Hatcheries: An updated perspective on the role of hatcheries in salmon and steelhead management in the Pacific Northwest

Since 2000, the HSRG has carried out its mission of incorporating the most up-to-date science into hatchery management, with financial support from state and federal sources.

In 2014, the HSRG completed a comprehensive review of scientific advancements in hatchery management. The purposes of the review were to:

  • Provide an updated perspective on the role of hatcheries in salmon and steelhead management in the Pacific Northwest.
  • Evaluate the impact of the HSRG’s work on hatchery management in the Pacific Northwest.
  • Review new information and consider whether the HSRG’s principles, broad recommendations, and analytical framework are still consistent with the best available science.

The resulting report, titled On the Science of Hatcheries: An updated perspective on the role of hatcheries in salmon and steelhead management in the Pacific Northwest (2014), provides an update from the HSRG on the progress being made towards science-based hatchery reform and related changes in harvest management. The paper reviews recent advancements in the science and understanding of the effects of hatchery operations on the conservation and sustainable fisheries goals of tribal, state and federal managers. The key conclusions from this paper were included in the HSRG’s Annual Report to Congress on the Science of Hatcheries: An updated perspective on the role of hatcheries in salmon and steelhead management in the Pacific Northwest (2014).

In 2015, the HSRG completed an update of its principles and recommendations originally presented in the 2009 Report to Congress.  The updated principles and recommendations were summarized in the HSRG’s Annual Report to Congress on the Science of Hatcheries: A report on the application of up-to-date science in the management of salmon and steelhead hatcheries in the Pacific Northwest (2015). The principles and recommendations provide a method of incorporating the best available science into policy decisions about the design and operation of hatcheries. The principles and recommendations will continue to be reviewed periodically by the HSRG to ensure consistency with new science as it emerges, consistent with the requirement that all hatchery programs should include flexibility to adapt to new information and a process to ensure that changes warranted by new information are implemented.

Reports